Rules For Approaching 
An Unknown Dog

The first rule is an easy task,
before you touch, you ALWAYS ask,
Some dogs easily get a fright,
they might growl or snap or bite.

Some dogs are aid dogs and have to work, 
their safety jobs they must not shirk.
Their owner will tell you if it's okay.
Since they know the dog, respect what they say.

No matter how small or how cute or how sweet, 
DON'T touch a dog once he's started to eat.
He might think that you are taking his food
and bite you instead, if he thinks you are rude.

Into his eyes you must never stare,
In dog language, that means  BEWARE.
He could think  you are about to lunge
and into your skin his teeth could plunge.

When toward an unknown pup you stride
approach him from the front or side.
If he thinks you're sneaking  from the back
he could respond with an attack.

Dogs feel safe in their very own place
Think of an invisible bubble of space.
To accidentally pop their bubble,
could surely be the start of trouble.

When he's "guarding" his car or yard,
bothering him could leave you scarred.
Watch out for  all the signs he makes
like growling, or hissing, 
for Safety's Sake.

If he barks, or shows his teeth,
Or curls his lip -- that's not a smile.
He's telling you that he's afraid
in doggie words that are his style.

If his tail is up and his hair's on end
This doggie does not want a friend.
If his legs are stiff or his ears are back
he may be ready to attack.

Do not yell or run or move too fast,
Say "NO" firmly, walk on past,
Arms by your side, no fear showing,
your best bet is to keep on going.

If dogs are fighting don't try to help
You could be the last to yelp.
Let all dogs know by your soft voice
that trusting you is a good choice.

When you have asked, and you MAY touch the pup,
your hands should be low and your palms should be up.
If your palms are down he could fear being hit
and if he panics, you could get bit.

Avoid rough games,
he can get carried away
and accidentally
ruin your day.

Follow these rules if a dog is a stranger.
They'll keep you both from possible danger.
Most dogs are friendly, but to tell them apart,
Asking their owners, is the very best start.

The rules of respect are for ALL dogs you see
the big ones, the little ones, the short ones and fluffed ones.
If you're too young to keep them,
then play with the stuffed ones.

Author Henry Holland

PAWmission will be granted to use
"Rules For Approaching An Unknown Dog"
to non-profit and educational programs.

Cricket Models her "FURocious Look" for you!

Watch here for more of 
Wiggle's Safety Tips
for Kids!

Click here to Read
Wiggle's Wisdom 
from Book 1

Safety on The Internet

Click here to Read
Wiggle's Wisdom 
from Book 3

Dealing With Bullies


Henry's Tip:

Let your whole classroom read this poem as a Kid's Safety Lesson.

There are enough lines for up to 30 kids to read.

They love to act out the parts of the "Unknown Dog", and can learn a life saving lesson at the same time!